This week I’m taking you down the pie road so you can create this amazing Sugar free Cherry Pie! Trust me, it’s so worth having this recipe in your life.
I’m also going to run you through some basic crust techniques so never need to reach for the store bought kind again.
This Sugar free Cherry Pie is packed full of sweet plump cherries, which has been baked in a crispy, flakey, outrageously good pie crust. Serve it warm with coconut whip or your favourite ice cream in winter OR slice it up cold from the fridge with a generous scoop of ice cream in summer. So what I’m saying is this pie can be enjoyed all year round. Win!
I’ve used frozen cherries for the filling. You can use both fresh or frozen for this recipe, however with the frozen it is very important to thaw your cherries completely and drain them of their juices before starting. Otherwise you will end up with a soggy crust and a very wet pie.
Now time to explain a little about pie crusts. (Food nerd taking over).
Types of Fats
Crusts are simple and don’t need a long list of ingredients to make. Just flour, salt, ice water and fats. And for pies they don’t need to be sweet because that’s what the filling is for. The biggest question that many bakers will encounter is what fats make the perfect pie crust? Butter (vegan of course) or shortening (in my case I used coconut oil)? WELL after some thorough readings and testing the answer is use both!
All butter crusts create a flakey, light and airy crust, just what you want for a pie. This happens because the water content from the butter turns into steam, puffing up the pastry and creating the layers. However, the problem with an all butter crust is, well it tastes like butter. It also loses its shape when baked (say goodbye to those pretty edges you spent 20 mins perfecting) because everything turned into one big puffy layer.
With the use of both coconut oil and butter in the pastry, you still achieve the buttery flavour but also the pie crust flavour- the one that tells your tastebuds “yes I’m definitely eating pie”. The coconut oil, with its higher melting point also helps to keep those wonderful edges you spent time making pretty. So the combination of both won because of its texture, appearance and flavour.
Why Cold Ingredients?
The next thing I want to touch base on is why every recipe always says “keep the pie crust cold”. The answer is simple. To avoid the fats from melting. If they melt before they reach the oven you will lose the flakey, tender crust, instead being replaced with a greasy and crunchy one. When the fats melt in the oven they release steam, which helps to create the layers of flakiness, as explained above. So whenever working with crust make sure to always chill it before rolling and work quickly so it doesn’t melt.
I love pie, seriously who doesn’t?! Which means I’ve already made a few that I’ve posted on Healthy ‘n Happy. Try out any of these pies with this pie crust and the results will be crazy good-Key Lime Pie, Apple Pie, Banoffee Pies or this Pumpkin Pie.
This Sugar free Cherry Pie recipe does make enough dough for both a bottom and top layer so if you only need a bottom layer, half this crust recipe.
- Pie Crust
- - 2 cups and 1 tablespoon (315g) all purpose plain flour
- - 1 teaspoon salt
- - ⅔ cup (100g) cold Niulife Coconut Oil, cubed
- - ⅓ cup and 2 tablespoons (90g) cold vegan butter, cubed
- - ½ cup (120mL) cold water
- - 1kg frozen cherries, thawed and drained
- - ⅓ cup (60g) Natvia
- - 2½ tablespoons (20g) arrowroot powder
- - 1 tablespoon (15mL) lemon juice
- - 1 teaspoon (6mL) vanilla extract
- Make the crust. Mix flour and salt together. Pour into a food processor and add the cold coconut oil and vegan butter. Pulse to form pea sized bits of fat. You can do this by hand using your fingertips to rub in the fats until it looks like wet sand. Transfer mixture to a bowl and with the sharp end of a butter knife stir in the cold water 1 tablespoon at a time. Using a knife helps to cut through the dough and is easier to stir with. Stop adding water when large clumps of dough begin to form.
- Transfer to a floured surface and knead lightly to bring together. Cut the dough in half, cling wrap each half and press each down to form a thick disc. Place in the fridge for an hour to chill.
- Make the filling by mixing all the ingredients together in a bowl and place it in the fridge to keep cold.
- Preheat oven to 205°C/400°F fan forced. Lightly grease a 22cm/9 inch pie tin.
- Roll the dough. Once the dough has chilled, remove one disc from the fridge (keep the other one in there), unwrap it and place on a lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin roll it into a 30cm/12 inch circle. Place it into the bottom of the pie tin. Spoon the filling in, avoid using any of the juices at the bottom of the bowl.
- Create the lattice. Roll the second piece of dough into a 30cm/12 inch circle. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut 8 strips out. I cut 4 larger ones and 4 thinner ones. Arrange carefully in a lattice appearance. Good video here if you are unsure how to do that. Trim off any excess dough, then crimp the sides down using a fork. Lightly brush the top with soy milk.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. With the oven door closed turn the temperature down to 190°C/374°F and bake for a further 30-35 minutes, until the pie crust is golden in appearance.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 30 minutes (if you want a warm pie) or until completely cool (if you want a cold pie). This resting time allows the filling to thicken.
Store covered in the fridge for 5 days.
Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction.